Mauritius is a small island economy in the Indian Ocean. Since its independence in 1968, Mauritius has made impressive economic and social achievements and is outperforming most other countries in the region, ranking now as a Middle Income Country (MIC). With an average growth rate of around 6% over the past three decades, the general standard of living has significantly improved. However, some pockets of poverty still remain, even if the incidence of absolute poverty is relatively low by international standards.
The country is well on track to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015, although challenges remain with respect to the access to safe drinking water, and for maternal and infant health. As a small island, Mauritius faces the constraints of a limited natural resource base as well as isolation from main markets.
Drawn up by the EU and the government of Mauritius and signed in December 2007, the Country Strategy Paper for Mauritius (2008-13) outlines the priorities for €76.73 million of cooperation assistance under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF). The 10th EDF Country Strategy Paper advocated that the priority for the EU cooperation is to support the economic and social reform programme of the Government of Mauritius, for which all EU instruments would be combined. In this context, approximately €64 million of EU assistance to the country under the 10th EDF, and €278 million under the EU's Accompanying Measures for Sugar Protocol countries (AMSP) for the period 2006-13, as well as €3 million to support Climate Change Adaptation were provided in the form of general budget support, for which the country satisfied all the eligibility criteria.
This assistance is complemented by a programme to support non-state actors, as well as technical assistance for the implementation of the economic reform programme. The 10th EDF also supported the country's efforts to meet the MDGs through projects benefitting the most deprived areas and poorest segments of the population of Mauritius, including Rodrigues, an autonomous outer island.
Besides the support described above, the EU provided financial support to the Mauritius in its fight against piracy, whereby a pirates transfer agreement was signed between the EU and Mauritius in July 2011, with Mauritius being ready to accept transfers as from 1 June 2012.
The Programming for the 11th EDF (2014-2020) is ongoing and will be coherent with the Government's growth strategies, namely its objective of graduating from a Middle Income Country to a High Income Country over the medium term.